Will Hamlin, born in 1986, is one of the shoot-the- moon millennials who rose with the fortunes of the global internet. Three years out of college, he landed a better-than-entry-level job at the startup, LinkedIn, right after it went public in 2011. He then spent five-and-a-half years of total immersion in career advancement. At 29, he had made middle manager and was earning almost a quarter million salary including equity.
In the Catch-30 passage, he took the further risk of leaving the cocoon of Silicon Valley to see what life was like outside before he decided whether to commit to joining that tribe. That risk was inspired by a concept in the Amish faith: Rumspringa, a rite of passage for adolescents who are granted permission to explore the world outside of their culture for ten months, before they decide whether or not to being Amish for life. [Very Third Culture; Will is agnostic] Hamlin took ten months off to spend time with his closest family, his men friends, and his girlfriend, traveling with each, one on one.
“I think I went into the trips thinking a lot about the bucket list places that I could go to. But the relationship element of it wound up being by far the most important,” It brought back the memory of what he wrote as a self-described nerd in his fifth-grade yearbook in answer to the question: What is your idea of perfect happiness? He wrote, Being happily married with four kids, ten grandkids and lots of friends.
“I think one of my favorite things about getting older, even though I’m still young, is building relationship equity.” Now 32, Hamlin is eager to marry and has the income to share his idea of perfect happiness with the high-achieving wife to whom he is engaged.